Home Education

Top 4 Science Resources for Homeschoolers

I asked close to 20K homeschooling mamas (thank to ALL the Facebook groups I’m in) their top resource choices when it comes to science. After tallying up all the answers I compiled a detailed list of the top 4 science resources for homeschoolers.

You’ll get detailed descriptions, the style of learner it best fits, and some other important information so you can make the best possibly choice when it comes to incorporating these resources into your homeschooling journey.

Apologia

This company is considered a veteran to the homeschool community and “are a #1 publisher for homeschoolers having earned over eighty top awards from homeschool parents and media for over twelve years in a row!” The basis of their work is based on three concepts:

  1. Teaching from a biblical worldview.
  2. Helping homeschooling families home educate successfully.
  3. Helping Messiah-followers defend their faith.

With this in mind, they “publish creation-based science curriculum for grades K–12, biblical worldview studies for six to fourteen-year-olds, Apologetics studies and Constitutional Literacy for high school students, and practical resources for homeschooling families including the Ultimate Homeschool Planners for moms, teens, and students.”

When it comes to learning style, Apologia seems to cross most brackets. For the child who likes to read, their textbooks are filled with engaging, conversational style writing, beautiful colors, and top-of-the-line material. For the hands-on learner, you’ll get plenty of interaction through hands-on experiments and other ideas suggested by the Apologia community.

Families who are looking for curriculum and resources created from a Biblical worldview with the ability to teach multiple ages and grades – not to mention, online class options – then Apologia is worth looking at!

Price points for Apologia: $9 – $309

Scroll to the bottom to enter {time sensitive} giveaway!

Moving Beyond the Page

Moving Beyond the Page is a comprehensive homeschool curriculum that covers science, social studies, and language arts. Their curriculum and resources start for ages as young as four-years-old and go through high school.

There’s no second-guessing if they’re resources are for you because they provide a detailed requirements list for each age group. You can also watch overviews, read more about each age group, and review samples all before making a purchase.

MBTP understands that “a child’s biological age does not always correlate with his “readiness” — his ability to comprehend a concept or develop a skill. Because of this, Moving Beyond the Page is not structured around grade levels — kindergarten, first grade, etc. Instead, it is structured around the recommended age levels of children using the curriculum (for example, Age 5-7, Age 6-8).”

While they aim to create a curriculum for the gifted, creative, and hands-on learner… they start with state and national standards, then wrap those standards around a concept-based curriculum that encourages different learning styles. This is amazing for the homeschooling family looking to be aligned with state standards! Find our more about their methodology here.

Moving Beyond the Page offers several purchasing points:

  • Multi-subject packets: Everything you need in one package. All packages include science, social studies, and language arts, and many include math as well.
  • Single-subject packets: Customize your year by with single-subject packages.
  • Unit studies: Choose among science, social studies, or language arts units to complement what you are already doing.
  • Individual items: Specific resources like a curriculum book, manipulative kit, or a literature book.

Price points for Moving Beyond the Page: $4.99 – $1005.67

Kiwi Co

If you’re looking for hands-on science projects delivered straight to your door (for ages 0-16+), then Kiwi Co has you covered. It’s super easy to get setup and shipments started.

Each of the crates, no matter which one you choose, comes with everything you’ll need to create what’s inside. The detailed manual and extra learning booklet (that’s what I call it) adds the perfect touch to extended learning.

You can easily start and stop subscriptions depending on your homeschooling needs, as well as switch between which type of crate you’d like sent.

As a homeschooling mom of multiples, I was able to use 1 crate (the Koala crate) for both of my littles, and my son loved both the Doodle and Tinkers crates. As of now, they offer the following:

  • Panda Crate (0-24 months) *new*: explore and discover
  • Koala Crate (2-4 years) *one of our favs*: play and learn
  • Kiwi Crate (5-8 years): science, art, and more
  • Atlas Crate (6-11 years) *fairly new*: geography and culture
  • Doodle Crate (9-16+): art and design
  • Tinker Crate (9-16+): science and engineering
  • Eureka Crate (14-104): engineering and design
  • Click here to read more about each line.

As you can see by the list, these crates cross multiple subjects and offer a variety of learning points for children of all learning styles – but especially for the tactile learner.

Crates are not only their specialty. They also offer individual products, such as: chemistry sets, STEM packs, classroom packs, and gifts.

Price points for Kiwi Co: $9.95 – $199.95 (for individual products) $15.50 – $19.95 (for monthly crate subscriptions)

Supercharged Science

Aurora, Founder and creator of Supercharged Science, is your go-to virtual teacher for all things science. She offers detailed descriptions of science topics you children should be learning for grades 1-12, as well as curriculum best for them.

The science curriculum you’ll through Supercharged Science is self-guiding, so your children can do it on their own. Also, it’s very hands-on, so they won’t be reading boring lessons from a book – they’ll be doing real science, like real scientists do in the lab.

There is a ton of free stuff (science lessons, teaching resources, and online classes) available, as well as many curriculum resources to purchase. The purchasing options are:

  • Online curriculum
  • Science mastery
  • Single-topic curriculum
  • Small bundles
  • Summer programs

The e-Science Curriculum is a monthly subscription-style program. It is a video-based online science curriculum that explains topics to kids in a practical real-world way, by using step-by-step videos to guide them through every detail of activities, experiments and projects that let them apply the concepts they just learned.

The Science Mastery program has hundreds of science experiments, projects, and activities! Over a year’s worth of physical science and chemistry for K-12 kids. It also includes: science lessons, recorded live on CD, instructional step-by-step video DVDs, parts and materials, the Science Experiment Manual, and unlimited support for as long as you need it. Click here to read more.

Simply put, Supercharged Science is another program that is suitable for any learning style!

Price points for Supercharged Science: $25 – $225

So Much to Choose From, How Do I Do It?

That’s one of the top questions for homeschooling moms and dads. How do I choose the right curriculum for my children? It may not seem easy at first, but after taking the following tips into consideration, perhaps it become much easier from here on out:

  1. Don’t feel pressured to have to purchase a full blown curriculum right off the bat.
  2. Chat with other homeschooling moms and get their honest opinion and reviews.
  3. Take into consideration the learning style of your child. (there are quizzes you can take if you don’t know)
  4. Look for samples to try before you buy.
  5. Don’t be afraid to mix and match.
  6. When you find something that works, stick with it!

These tips can help guide you along your curriculum resource picking journey, especially when it comes to choosing for the science category.

CHIME IN: What is your go-to science curriculum resource? Have you tried something that you didn’t like? Share you thoughts in the comments below and help other moms/dads out!


ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

Could you use some free curriculum? If so, you’re going to love this giveaway! Now through Sunday, September 22, you can enter to win your choice of a science curriculum from Apologia!

To enter, just fill out the entry card below. You can pick and choose which entry options you complete, and along the way, you’ll find some fantastic new homeschool bloggers to follow!

In addition, by entering you will also receive a Digital Swag Bag valued at $60 – so everyone who enters gets free curriculum resources! You can find the details of the Swag Bag below the entry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apologia Giveaway Info

It is your responsibility to read the terms and conditions upon entering. Entering this giveaway signs you up for the following email newsletters: The Fervent Mama, Life Beyond the Lesson Plan, The Art Kit, Peace Creek on the Prairie, Brookdale House, My Joy-Filled Life, The Unexpected Homeschooler, Finding Joy in the Journey, and With the Huddlestons email if you aren’t already subscribed. The winner has 48 hours to claim their prize before a new winner is drawn. Giveaway ends September 22nd, 2019 at 12 AM CST. 

 SWAG Bag Info

All entrants will receive the Swag Bag (valued at $60) within 24 hours of the giveaway closing. 

With the Huddlestons Science Experiments That’ll Blow Your Mind is a eCourse that comes with 4 videos and printable worksheet pages that are needed to complete each experiment. This is the perfect self-paced course for the science explorer looking to be wow’d! This is a $20 course!

The Unexpected Homeschooler Career Exploration Worksheets This is a course teens can do to explore what careers would be best for their personalities, interests, and strengths.

Peace Creek on the Prairie – The All About Animals an early childhood resource packet is filled with eleven lesson plans for elementary aged children to teach children valuable science lessons. $12 value

Brookdale House – Thirty Pages of Panda Themed Handwriting practice including letter tracing practice.  The fun panda graphics will help your child look forward to the next page of practice.

The Art Kit – Outer Space 3-Part Cards (4 sheets that include Sun + Planets) and STEAM Challenge Color Mixing Activity Cards. $10 value.

https://www.theartkitblog.com/outer-space-3-part-planet-printable-cards/

https://www.theartkitblog.com/color-mixing-steam-challenge-cards-printable-pack/

The Fervent Mama Our Bible Trivia for Kids Game Kit includes 54 printable pages of fun for ages Elementary and up! Valued at $15, each set of questions is sorted by difficulty and labeled by categories. There are 240 questions total; 40 Level 1, 60 Level 2, 110 Level 3, and a Bonus 30 adult questions. ($15 value)

Home Education

To STEM or Not to STEM?

STEM (or STEAM) is becoming a hot topic in the world of homeschooling. The funny thing about it though is that it’s not a new concept. Nope. Not at all. It just so happens that the STEM acronym made its debut in 2001 after being upgraded from what used to be known as SMET. However, as long as there has been education, there have been the core subjects of science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

So what’s the big deal about STEM/STEAM? Is it something that we as homeschoolers should stress about making a part of the schedule? Where are the resources for it? Is there help for incorporating it without is costing an arm and a leg? Let’s talk about these questions (and other concerns you may have)!

So, what’s the big deal?

According to Britannica¹:

“U.S. students were not achieving in the STEM disciplines at the same rate as students in other countries. The report predicted dire consequences if the country could not compete in the global economy as the result of a poorly prepared workforce. Thus, attention was focused on science, mathematics, and technology research; on economic policy; and on education. Those areas were seen as being crucial to maintaining U.S. prosperity.”

If you are one to keep up with the Jones’, or with other countries for that matter, then having children who excel in the STEM/STEAM categories may be a big deal to you. However, if you are more concerned with fostering your child’s natural abilities (whatever they may be), then having a STEM/STEAM-focused homeschool may not be such a big deal.

You see, from a “system perspective,” there has to be standard definitions. There has to be some sort of defining factor to begin building from. That’s why there are growth and development charts that say your child should be doing this or that by such-and-such age. Same goes for what our children should be learning.

Should homeschoolers stress about STEM/STEAM?

Truth be told, if you choose to homeschool you already have one up on those who do not. I don’t mean to sound biased, but hear me out. Another quote from Britannica¹ says:

“A number of studies were conducted to reveal the needs of school systems and guide the development of appropriately targeted solutions.”

When a child is in the “school system,” they are learning according to the curriculum and scheduling chosen by that system. If a child wants to learn about something that is not part of the plan, most likely they will be silenced and left to learn about it on their own time. Whereas for the homeschooling family, an interest-led approach can be taken and explored much more easily.

So, my answer to the question is no. Homeschooling families should not stress about STEM/STEAM because it is something that can be (and most likely is) naturally explored and incorporated. Homeschoolers typically aren’t worried about studying for the test or trying to be top in a class. I also find that most of us homeschooling families could care less about measuring up to some standard.

Of course it doesn’t mean that we should ignore the importance of these core subjects because they are essential; however, we don’t have to stress about it! The next question then becomes…

Where are the resources?

When I started homeschooling five years ago, how I was going to incorporate science, technology, engineering, art, and math in a fun and engaging way crossed my mind quite a bit. I was already transitioning from being a brick-and-mortar preschool teacher myself, so I was naturally going the school system route. I found the nearest homeschool group and became active in their COOP program in attempt to fill some gap that wasn’t even there!

It didn’t take long before I started tossing that method out the window and started on the path of all things DIY (do-it-yourself). This actually made it much easier. With the help of hand-me-down curriculum and resources, couple with Google, Pinterest, and supplements I created myself – we were subconsciously STEM/STEAMing with grace and ease.

Fast forward to today and you can find a wealth of STEM/STEAM resources, all just a click away. Some of my favorites that I highly recommend are:

KIWI CO.

For one low subscription price a month you can enjoy having hands-on activities sent straight to your home. There is flexibility in the style of box that you choose and they are divided by age group and subject category. My two middle kiddos share the Koala Crate and my 11 year old enjoys the Tinker Crate. He has also used the Doodle Crate. Try your first crate for less than $10! Click HERE to redeem!

CRATE JOY

Over at Crate Joy you can find this Groovy Lab in a Box, hands-on Science fun STEM subscription box. Each month young STEMists (your children!) will receive fun, hands-on projects and an engineering design challenge – all focused on that month’s STEM topic. All STEMists will receive a Lab Notebook, where they can read about that month’s topic, perform investigation activities and document their findings.

They will investigate, brainstorm, plan, build, test and redesign their own creations. STEMists also receive access to our special “Beyond…in a Box” online learning portal. This is a unique feature of Groovy Lab in a Box because it gives STEMists a deeper understanding of that month’s topic.

TOYS

Playing with toys may not seem like learning, but trust me when I say that it is! The best part about investing in STEM/STEAM-related toys is the longevity and versatility. Some good ones to check out are: LEGOS, Brain Flakes, Brickyard Building Blocks, Smart Circuits, and IQ Builder.

[amazon_link asins=’B00N7CD4BK,B074TCJMQW,B0176IEUH2,0545703301,B00008BFZH,B0164WC4RY,B075N8W9VK,0325043582,1537372041,1939754666′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’withthehuddle-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c93d80e9-3813-424c-b74f-6494122664e1′]

Is there help for incorporating STEM/STEAM into homeschooling that doesn’t break the bank?

Absolutely! Another perk about the spike in technology is the ability to find good blogs that offer helpful posts, groups that offer amazing support, and programs that offer guidance through interactive lessons, ideas, and even conferences!

Some of the top blogs to follow:

Virtual groups that offer amazing support:

Programs for guidance:

Conferences, meetups, and events (some are virtual, others held in specific cities):

*In order to get the lifetime access to this conference you must enroll by March 9, 2019. Registration will be closed after that date.

Should you have a STEM/STEAM-focused homeschool?

I am and always will be an advocate for homeschooling your way. I believe there is a distinct line between schooling and educating children, one that has been clearly defined over time by the public and private school systems. As a homeschooler, we have the right to educate our children according to their needs and best interests, not according to the best interests of what society or the government thinks.

STEM/STEAM has become a concept that can be misinterpreted to the point of stressing a person out, and that never should be the case. I once heard a wise woman say, “Go where the needs lead.” and she couldn’t be more accurate. For some children, their natural abilities and desires will lead them down an artistic path. For another child it may be technology and engineering.

Regardless, if you build the education around the child, instead of the child around the education, I guarantee you’ll find STEM/STEAM all throughout without having to get overwhelmed.

CHIME IN: To STEM/STEAM, or not to STEM/STEAM? What does this look like in your homeschool? Let me know if the comments below!

¹https://www.britannica.com/topic/STEM-education

Home Education, Reviews

New Huddleston Family Favorite Book: Anna, Kid Engineer

“It was once again time for the annual Science Fair at Easy Creek Elementary School. Anna wasn’t excited about the upcoming event because of the embarrassing projects she’d come up with during her 3rd and 4th grade years. This was her last year of elementary school, and she wanted this year to be different. Anna loved to tinker and make new things out of old toys she found at yard sales. but what dd her tinkering have to do with a science fair project? Read more to find out if her 5th-grade science fair project turned out to be amazing, a flop, or somewhere in between.”

Anna, Kid Engineer by Shenek Alston

 

You’ve probably heard the acronym STEM and instantly think science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Although this Texas-accredited term had its first appearance tied to immigration debates regarding visas for immigrants who are skilled in these fields, it takes on a very new meaning in these recent days.

From homeschools to public and private schools, STEM is a highly sought after group of academic disciplines. We are beginning to see the importance of these subjects in the lives of even the smallest children. That’s why I was head over heels to get my hands on this STEM-based book – Anna, Kid Engineer by Shenek Alston.

I have to be honest and say that I was a little late getting on the “STEM” train, but most of time, my kiddos are already doing STEM related activities! Having this book added to our collection.

Anna, Kid Engineer is a beautifully written and well illustrated book. As a homeschoooling mom of four kiddos, ranging from 4 months to 10 years old, I was amazed at how it kept the attention of even the younger ones. It especially resonated with my ten year old as he is a little tinkerer himself. I could tell that he was encouraged by the book to continue entertaining his engineer-based thoughts.

Anna is also a great representation of today’s child. All children can relate to Anna whether they are homeschooled, private schooled, and/or public schooled. Most children can understand how Anna feels about being in the Science Fair, and definitely relate to her emotions of being nervous about something.

The presence of family and friendships is another great aspect of Anna, Kid Engineer… not to mention the ongoing undertones of encouragement and support. My family and I give this book 5 stars and 2 thumbs up! It is definitely kid tested, mother approved!

 

Purchase the Digital Version HERE!
(also comes with audio version)

 

Purchase soft and/or hard copies HERE!

 

See a live preview of Anna, Kid Engineer HERE!

 

CHIME IN: What are some of your favorite STEM-based books? Let me know in the comments!

 

Until next time, happy homeschooling y’all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explore With the Huddleston’s website for more product reviews, free resources, lessons plans, and curriculum supplements!